Australia to buy aluminium composite and carbon-fibre-reinforced plastics for its aircrafts
Updated March 25, 2020 09:00:51 AUSTRALIA’S BEAURS could soon have a new set of friends and foes as it prepares to unveil plans for a new range of aircraft components made from aluminium composite.
The Federal Government has announced plans for the next phase of the aluminium composite plane design, which is set to include the introduction of carbon-filament reinforced plastics and a new composite wing.
Key points:The Federal government has said the next stage of the carbon-finned composite plane is a new wing that would be manufactured from aluminiumIn a move that is expected to anger aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing, the Federal Government is poised to announce a new carbon-framed wing for its next-generation aircraft.
The Government says the composite wing would be produced from aluminium.
The announcement is expected by the end of this month.
But the aluminium-framing plan is likely to anger some of the biggest aerospace companies, who say it will only make the aluminium plane heavier and more expensive.
The carbon-frame wing, also known as the “AeroC” or Carbon Composite Wing, is being touted as a cost-effective alternative to aluminium aircrafts which have historically been built with steel.
It is also likely to increase the costs of manufacturing the aluminium, which are among the lowest in the world, to meet the Government’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.
The aluminium composite wing is designed to replace older aircrafts such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet, which can be built with carbon fibre and aluminium.
“The new wing will enable Australia to transition away from the reliance on steel aircrafts and the reliance that has resulted from the introduction and subsequent use of carbon fibre,” Federal Transport Minister Christopher Pyne said.
“This new fibre-fiber wing will reduce the cost of the composite aircraft by approximately $1.5 billion per annum, which will help deliver our ambitious target of reducing our carbon emissions in the next decade.”
But the Federal Opposition says the Government is ignoring the concerns of the aerospace industry.
“It is about more than just cutting carbon emissions, the Government should be doing the same,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.
“Instead of cutting carbon, the Prime Minister should be investing in jobs, infrastructure and clean energy.”
But a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Department (FAD) said the carbon fiber wing was being designed to meet Australia’s carbon reduction goals, not its competitors.
“All the other aircrafts that are now being made in Australia are made from carbon fibre composite.
This is a composite material and it is not a carbon-concrete composite,” the spokesperson said.
The Federal Aviation Agency said the Government was not required to justify the cost to taxpayers and did not need to justify carbon emissions.
“As a government, the FAA is committed to a clean and safe future for the air we breathe, and we are working hard to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will also be reviewing the use of aluminium composite materials for future aircrafts.
“The FAD has been working with industry, the government and the Federal Parliament to develop a new aircraft wing,” the spokesman said.